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A Great Saw...But Fence is lacking

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Review by WoodWorkWarrior posted 09-22-2012 07:59 PM 10202 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Great Saw...But Fence is lacking No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My first shop was on the balcony of a small apartment – and it started with a Bosch jobsite table saw. A worthy table saw for my first, but finally last year I decided to get serious with my shop and after much research, purchased a Grizzly G0715P Hybrid table saw.

First Impressions – excitement! From jobsite saw to a 2HP, cast iron top, full size table, I couldn’t be happier. After initial assembly and alignment I couldn’t wait to make some cuts. The saw did not disappoint! There were a couple issues that I found as I put stuff together, I’ll get into those shortly.

After a Year – Still a great saw, but I’ve found that to get the accuracy I wanted I had to start getting some aftermarket accessories. I’ve upgraded the miter gauge to an Incra 1000SE. I also want to upgrade the fence as it’s the one aspect of the saw that I’m disappointed with. Overall though, I love it and I’m glad I bought it.

Here’s some detail on my experience with the Grizzly G0715P

Ordering and Shipping
When I originally inquired using Grizzly’s online system, it showed that this saw wouldn’t be available for 6 months! After calling customer service, they promised one within a month and it actually came in 3 weeks. It shipped freight and arrived in good condition. No problems with packaging. Truck driver even dollied it around into the ally for me where my garage is.

Assembly
Unpacking and setup was a chore because I did it all myself. The saw is heavy! I purchased the Shop Fox mobile base as I have a small shop and have to push the saw to the side when not in use. Assembling the mobile base was easy. I used a combination of levers, gravity, and brute strength to get the cabinet onto the mobile base (I actually built the mobile base around the cabinet then levered the cabinet up on each side as I closed the base around the cabinet).

Attaching the wings was also a bit of a challenge with one person, but doable. Each wing required one strip of tape to tilt the wings level with the saw table. The overall surface is really flat, probably within .005”.

Assembly of the fence rail system and fence itself was strait forward. Be sure to note though that once the fence rail tube goes on, you can’t remove the bolts that attach the front rail to the saw table. Future accessories (like a built in router table) would require removal of the rail tube.

Alignment
The blade and miter slots came aligned almost perfectly. I didn’t bother trying to make it better. It was within the .001” that my dial gauge could measure. The fence rail tube and fence were pretty strait forward, although it took awhile because of an issue with the way the fence locks to the rail tube…there was a lot of movement of the fence when locked. More on this later. I was able to aligne the locked down fence within a few thousands (the fence face itself varies in profile about .005”).

The miter gauge is very simple, although there is a little slop in the miter slot. It quickly squared to the miter slot.

General Construction
The build quality, with the exception of the fence, is great. Most of these saws are built in the same factory in China…but some companies have better quality control, Grizzly seems to be one of them. Machined surfaces are flat, materials are solid, assembly is tight.

Fence
This is the one real gripe I have about this saw. The fence is a Beisemeyer style fence sliding on a large front rectangular rail tube. The fence uses set screws in the front, back, and top. The front and top set screws have lock nuts. They each have a nylon face that runs along the front rail.

The back setscrews push against a flexible metal strip that has nylon pads on either end. The problem with this fence is that the flexible metal strip (a single piece across the length of the inside of the fence along the fence rail tube) is twisted. The result is that when the fence is adjusted to run smoothly along the rail tube, clamping it down causes the metal strip to untwist thus changing is squareness to the table. I could have lived with a very small movement (tough to get away from on any saw), but this problem causes the far end of the fence to swing almost an 1/8 of an inch! See the image below to see the twist in the metal strip.

I was able to align the fence in the locked position and it’s very repeatable, but I can’t use the distance from the blade to the fence when the fence is unlocked to judge distance. It makes lining up a cut by a marked line difficult. I tend to rely on the fence rule (I’ve got it pretty accurate, with 1/64”). Love the saw, but I’ll be replacing the fence when I can.

I asked Grizzly about this and they ended up replacing the fence for me…however there was still a little bit of twist in the same metal strip. The conditions improved slightly, but still not adequate for a final solution.

Miter Gauge
One of the main reasons I wanted to move up to a full size table saw (not a portable jobsite saw) was the miter slots. Cast aluminum simply cannot be held to tolerances tight enough for precision work, and that’s what the jobsite saw has. The milled miter slots in cast iron of the full size saws, like this one are key. That said, the miter slots on this saw are top notch. Precision ground, flat, and strait. You couldn’t ask for better.

The included miter gauge works…but I chose to go with other accessories. I use an Incra 1000SE for the most part, a great miter gauge. I also built myself a miter sled – a must for cutting small parts. My sled has a myriad of clamping options which really opens up the versatility of the table saw for cutting small parts.

Blade and Riving Knife
I bought a Freud blade right away, in fact I bought a ripping blade and a fine pitch tooth blade (60 teeth). Blades are the one thing that make the biggest difference…so I didn’t want to start out with a stock blade on a “fancy” new saw. I have the stock blade set aside for operations that I don’t want to use my $$ blades for…like cutting aluminum or other dulling materials. The freud blades work great. Changing blades is a breeze, even dado blades. Repeatability between blade changes so far is excellent (as long as the blade curf is the same thickness!)

The riving knife was a new feature for me…but one that I must say I never will go without ever again. It adds a magnitude of safety improvement for cutting ops. Pulling the riving knife out is easy, it’s just a spring loaded latch. You don’t have to remove it to change blades, however I remove if often for dado blade setups.

Using the Saw
220V, 2HP! Cut’s like a hot knife through butter. The combination of a flat table, aligned miter slots, a thin curf blade, and a square fence make cutting easy and much safer than a jobsite saw that tries to just power through. Nickle test worked like a charm. Granted, my only experience was with a jobsite saw (and my dad’s Delta contractor saw that I learned on – a nice saw for sure), so moving up always makes cutting easier and safer. After over a year of use I’m still very happy with the way the saw cuts. It’s still aligned as good as the day I set it up.

Dust Collection
At first I just let the dust pile up inside. The cabinet construction by design keeps dust to a minimum. Then I hooked up my shop vac to it and it worked pretty well. Recently though, I purchased a Grizzly dust collector. The combination keeps dust down very low. I’m very pleased. I only have to content with a very small amount of dust that gets flung from the blade. One of these days I’ll make a dust collector/blade gaurd setup and cut the dust down to almost nothing. In the mean time, the cabinet style makes this a pretty “clean” saw.

Conclusion
Would I recommend this saw…”YES”! Despite the flaw of the fence, I couldn’t find anything else that met the feature set and quality for the money (there were other saws that came close). I really like Grizzly, and until I can afford to buy the big time American made machines, I’ll gladly support Grizzly.

-- Jason




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WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days



14 comments so far

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5277 posts in 2061 days


#1 posted 09-22-2012 10:23 PM

I am glad you are satisfied with your grizzly hybird saw. Grizzly tools provide very good quality. I have the older version of the Grizzly Hybird saw…the GO478. Bought it back in late 2007 when starting to buily my new shop. Like you, I had the Bosch jobsite saw since it was portable.
My grizzly saw has preformed flawlessly and I added the Incra LSTS fence to upgrade the stock grizzly fence.
I am hoping my setup keeps on ticking because i really like it…even though it has no riving knife in my model.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11549 posts in 1443 days


#2 posted 09-23-2012 01:55 AM

I have had my Grizzly hybrid for a little over 2 years and am still in love with it. I wax my front rail and that plate in the fencethat grips the rail pretty often and it really makes locking the fence smoother with less movement as the fence is locked. I had to dimple the edges of my miter gauge with a center punch but there is no slop now. Good review and we appreciate your waiting to post it rather than writing a review the day you got it as so often happens.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days


#3 posted 09-23-2012 01:58 PM

Good call on the miter gauge dimpling…I’ll have to try that (I still use the stock gauge for quick, “I don’t need a perfect edge” cuts). I’m glad to have Grizzly. I actually have two more Grizzly machines that I’ve purchased since buying this TS. The dust collector I mentioned in the review and a drill press. I’ll get to those reviews soon.

-- Jason

View MattinCincy's profile

MattinCincy

128 posts in 1906 days


#4 posted 09-23-2012 07:34 PM

Nice thorough review, Jason. I’ve heard many good things about this saw and I’m glad you’re happy with it. Before you replace the fence, though, read on….

I’ve owned 4 tablesaws with t-square style fences (my current is a Jet 3 hp cabinet saw) and all of them had lots of slop when they weren’t clamped to the rail – this isn’t a flaw, but rather a result of the travel of the cam lever. If you have the fence adjusted such that it’s so tight to the rail that it remains parallel to the fence without being clamped to the rail, then I doubt you will be able to fully engage the cam lever to tighten the fence and lock it down. I haven’t measured the travel of the cam on the lever on my saw, but I guarantee that if I adjusted mine to not have any slop when the lever is loose, I’d never be able to fully lock mine down. What really matters is the straightness of the rail that the fence rides on – this will ensure that the fence remains parallel to the blade throughout the range of the fence travel. As long as your fence locks repeatably, then thats all you can ask for.

If you want better accuracy from your fence rule, make a new cursor with a finer line on it than the one that came with your saw and install it so that there is very little space between it and the rule to minimize parallax error. I did that to mine and it’s incredibly accurate.

Looking forward to your other reviews!

-- Wag more, bark less.

View crashn's profile

crashn

519 posts in 1218 days


#5 posted 09-25-2012 01:16 AM

I have the same saw (and love it), but do not have the same defect in the fence that you have. Mine does not deflect when locked down. Have you contacted grizzly? The could/would possibly replace that part for you.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

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WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days


#6 posted 09-25-2012 01:42 AM

I did contact Grizzly and they sent me a new fence…the twist was less, but still there. It works fine and I can make great cuts.

@MattinCincy, the only other full size table saw that I’ve used is my dad’s Delta with a unifence. It’s got a little slop, but not as much as mine. The cam size certainly has to come into play when adjusting the free running condition of the fence on the rail. I played with that quite a bit when this problem came up.

Perhaps my aerospace engineering hat needs to come off and I just have to live with it (I live in a world where dimensions toleranced to .001” is normal!) Although, I rather like applying some of those principles to woodworking. In fact, I have a couple ideas…perhaps a bit extreme for woodworking, to make the fence perfectly aligned, no slop in the free running condition, and easy to move along the rail. Perhaps If I attempt one of them I’ll post it on LJ for fun.

-- Jason

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MattinCincy

128 posts in 1906 days


#7 posted 09-25-2012 01:47 PM

Ah, Jason – A man after my own heart! I design and build minimally invasive medical devices and am a machinist by trade, so I too live in the world of thousandths (and tenths), so I know where you’re coming from. My point was that there is no need for the fence to remain perfectly parallel to the BLADE (I misspoke in my previous response) when adjusting it. It only matters that it’s parallel when locked. If you want to use the fence as a reference to align the blade with a mark on your board all you have to do is get it close and quickly lock the fence with one hand while observing how far off you are , and then unlock it and bump it a little one way or the other to dial it in – I do this all the time, and I suspect many others do too. The only fence that I know of that is designed to remain parallel when in its free state is the Incra fence, which seems to be really nice, but for what it costs, I’ll stick with my Biesemeyer clone.

Since you’re an Aerospace engineer, maybe you can confirm this – I’ve heard that the SR71 Blackbird would leak fluids while sitting on the tarmac due to the tolerance required to make it’s seals effective at supersonic speeds – the faster it flew the hotter the components got and they would expand to tighten up the seals and it wouldn’t leak. Any idea if this was true? If so, it’s kind of like the same idea with the fence on your saw – It can have loose tolerances until it’s put into service and has to perform it’s primary function of remaining parallel to the blade when locked. Kind of a lame analogy, but a thought none the less!!

-- Wag more, bark less.

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WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days


#8 posted 09-25-2012 03:05 PM

MattinCincy, sounds like you have an interesting job! The method you described for getting the fence in position is exactly what I’ve been doing. You’re right in that it’s not THAT big of deal…hence the reason I’ve haven’t done anything different yet.

As for the blackbird…a lot of people have heard about the fuel leak thing from a couple movies that’s it’s been in…and yes, it’s true. Operating a Mach 3 speeds induces incredible heat into the fuselage of the plane. That heat transfers to all parts of the plane, so at “cruising” when everything has settled into position due to thermal expansion, the fuel tanks are at their designed “no leak” shape. Unfortunately for ground operations this means leaks (not massive leaks, drips…). Another interesting tidbit is that because of this same thermal expansion problem, the engines are actually canted 5 degrees (ish) inward when on the ground and they straighten out once at cruising speed. The wings don’t expand uniformly because of their shape.

-- Jason

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5608 posts in 2128 days


#9 posted 09-26-2012 03:33 PM

Great job with the review….it’s always nice to hear the honest pros and cons as opposed to unabated tool lust! I’ve owned several t-square type fences, and just use the bump method to tweak them in…to adjust the fence, I lift the handle completely, slide the feince within range, then by leaving the handle and cam lock only partially engaged I can pretty easily nudge into it to within a gnat’s whisker of where I want it to be without much movement. It’s never going to have the incredible repeatability and precision of an Incra, but they typically work fine for my needs.

Interestesting read about the complexities of Mach 3….back to my boring job now! ;-)

Enjoy your saw!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View pendledad's profile

pendledad

189 posts in 842 days


#10 posted 10-17-2012 06:05 PM

Thanks for the review and recommendation on my post. I’m leaning towards this saw because it seems hard to beat for the price. I’m impressed you setup the saw with your own strength. Are the Freud blades thin kerf or does it match the size of the stock blade with the saw? I read reviews that the knife doesn’t work with think kerf blades.

Did you think about a ZCI from Grizzly or perhaps making your own?

Thanks again for the review.

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WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days


#11 posted 10-17-2012 07:17 PM

Freud blades are thin kerf, just like the blade that came with the saw. The riving knife really only works with thin kerf.

I plan to get a ZCI…probably will use it as a template to make several more.

-- Jason

View asloanie's profile

asloanie

50 posts in 741 days


#12 posted 12-16-2012 12:50 AM

Follow-up to this posting thread…
Jason:
Now that you have had your saw a year and a half..

1) Do you feel like you still made a good purchase? Any flaws come out now that you have used the saw for a few months?
2) Would your opinion of the saw change if you had to run it on 120 vs 220?
3) Has the lack of a table extension on the right side of the fence (compared to some other saws) impacted you at all?
4) Any new upgrades you have added on that you wish you had gotten from the start?

Thanks,
Andy
-long time listener, first time caller-

View Bullet's profile

Bullet

150 posts in 2082 days


#13 posted 03-06-2013 04:00 PM

WWW – have you had any issues with changing blade runout at different heights? I see a lot of threads across the web with differing opinions. I really want to like this saw but I don’t want a headache if I buy one!

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile

WoodWorkWarrior

46 posts in 826 days


#14 posted 03-08-2013 04:43 PM

Sorry for the late response. Got a new baby which makes 2 little rascals. So, on to the questions:

Yes, it was a great purchase, I still feel that way. Again the only real flaw is the fence but once I figured out how to deal with it it’s very consistent at least. In the end, I will get a better fence, but for now, it works.

I run the saw on 220. In theory, 220 should give more torque. I used to run a Bosch table saw on 110 and it did just fine so I would assume (again I haven’t run it this way) that the Grizzly would do excellent on 110.

I do wish there was a table extension for the full length of the fence rail, but honestly it has not negatively impacted any work that I’ve done by having the “dead space” between table and fence when making wide rips. There is still plenty of table to support the work.

I haven’t added anything on yet, but I still have plans to. First thing is a router table extension (cause I need a router table mostly, but also because it fills in aforementioned dead space in the table). I’ve made several other jigs but none that are unique to this TS.

bullet – I’ve not noticed any issue, with the caveat that I set runout once and it’s seems to hold. I’ve not re-tuned it yet at different heights so it’s tough for me to say.

-jason

-- Jason

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